Sunday, August 2, 2009

Obesity and Processed Foods

Today in the Washington Post, on page 2 of the Outlook section in a column called Outspoken, David Kessler, the former head of the Food and Drug Adminstration, talks about the connection between processed food and obesity. Also today, in the New York Times Magazine, is an article called Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch. It is about: the movie Julie and Julia, the disconnect between TV food shows and cooking. . . and the connection between processed food and obesity.

The NYT article quotes Harry Belzer, "a veteran food-marketing researcher". In answer to a question on how to "undo the damage that the modern diet of industrially prepared food has done to our health", he says,

"Easy. You want Americans to eat less? I have the diet for you. It's short, and it's simple. Here's my diet plan: Cook it yourself. That's it. Eat anything you want -- just as long as you're willing to cook it yourself."

Looking at the soy allergy in a glass-half-full kind of way, I say we're way ahead of the rest of America on this one. We have to cook a lot of our foods from scratch and we don't eat out much. I won't say I couldn't lose (ahem) a few pounds, but I still eat processed foods. Granted I had to hunt them down in Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and among the gazillions of foods on the regular grocery store aisles, but I eat crackers, breakfast cereal, cheesy-poofs and the like.

Maybe I'll stop.